Impact of Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment on Entrance to Chemical Dependency Treatment

Jan 2010 |
Online Library
Medicaid Patients Screened in Hospital Emergency Departments

One goal of the Washington State Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (WASBIRT) Project was to improve admissions to chemical dependency (CD) treatment among hospital Emergency Department (ED) patients who received a brief intervention (BI) for substance use disorders. To assess how well the project achieved this goal, patients with publicly funded medical assistance who received at least a BI through one of nine WASBIRT hospitals between April 2004 and June 2008 were compared to statistically matched publicly funded patients treated in hospital EDs during the same time period who were not screened through WASBIRT. The odds of obtaining CD treatment were significantly higher for those who received at least a BI relative to their matched counterparts. The finding was consistent across working-age disabled clients, recipients of General Assistance-Unemployable, and those on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

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